On the 20th of August, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg launched internet.org, an initiative to connect the currently offline population of the world to the internet. With some major founding partners, such as Nokia and Samsung, the CEO of Facebook wants to make the internet available to “the next 5 billion people” – as the press release says.
As the number of Facebook users has reached its peak in the connected world, the only way to get new users is to connect the remaining two-thirds of the world’s population to the internet. That said, Internet.org is not just a social responsibility project, but a possible business investment as well for Facebook.
As of today, there is not much content on the Internet.org website, apart from a spectacular video and a declaration of intention from the founding partners. All we know today is that Zuckerberg wants to dramatically reduce the cost of mobile internet access, but obviously, he will need to build the infrastructure for the mobile internet itself in the developing countries.
Only time will tell whether this is just an average PR stunt or more than that. Google, for example, is not mentioned in the project at all; however they have recently come up with something similar in Project Loon, to connect remote areas to the internet using high-altitude balloons.